Thursday, September 29th, 3-7pm, at Capitol Hill Station Plaza
There are many things that make Capitol Hill stand out not only among Seattle’s neighborhoods, but also among other major American cities’ marquee neighborhoods as well. Few places in the U.S. offer the same access to walkable streets, shops, cultural venues, parks, restaurants and other amenities. All together, this makes Capitol Hill a fascinating place to study how public spaces contribute to — or detract from — public life, which is exactly what the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict has been doing since 2019. Now the EcoDistrict is ready to showcase what they’ve learned in a Community Forum, next Thursday, September 29th, 3-7pm, at Capitol Hill Station Plaza (918 E. Barbara Bailey Way).
In addition to highlighting the EcoDistrict’s research, work, and findings on public life in Capitol Hill, the event will include the unveiling of a new piece of public art: a rain activated mural that will teach people about the environmental impacts of urban stormwater management.
There will also be goods available to purchase from vendors who participated in the EcoDistrict’s REVIVAL Market Street series, including: TASWIRA, Black Origin Plants, Tea Moss Shop, Avenue South, and Mediums Collective. Wells Fargo, which is providing funding for the event, will also host workshops for small businesses and individuals on financial and homebuyer education. Free snacks at the event will be provided by The Greedy Vegan and Ma and Pops.
The events leading to the Community Forum kicked off when a delegation of Seattle leaders traveled Copenhagen, Denmark to learn about what makes the city’s internationally known public spaces work. EcoDistrict members then studied Capitol Hill’s public spaces using the Gehl Protocol, a set of tools based on surveys and interviews that provide metrics on public life created by Gehl, an urban design and research consulting firm in Copenhagen.
Over 70 volunteers participated in the work, as well as University of Washington (UW) landscape architecture students, who also examined what green stormwater infrastructure could look like in the neighborhood, while UW undergraduate students in the Community, Environment, and Planning program took a close look at community resilience and health.
“What’s felt most innovative is our approach to looking at community resilience, those invisible systems, to better understand the needs that people bring with them into public spaces,” said Donna Moodie, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Executive Director in a press release. “The community engagement to uncover what’s really going on for people is how we’ll know we got this right.”
Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Community Forum, Thursday, September 29th, 3-7pm, at Capitol Hill Station Plaza (918 E. Barbara Bailey Way).
The EcoDistrict Community Forum is made possible with funding from Wells Fargo Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Office of Economic Development, Walsh Construction, BECU, Deirdre Doyle Real Estate, Buchanan General Contracting Co., and SMR Architects. The Urbanist is the official media sponsor for the 2022 Community Forum.
About the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, staffed by Community Roots Housing, is a neighborhood-based sustainability initiative dedicated to improving the connectivity, public health and wellness, and environmental resilience of Seattle’s center city. The EcoDistrict works in partnership with the local community to test and deploy innovative solutions that address the city’s most pressing sustainability challenges. We look to cities around the globe for inventive approaches to centering neighborhood development around long-term health for people and the planet.
Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is Managing Editor at The Urbanist. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.